Source Of BA Cemetery Odor Remains Unclear

Tuesday, July 28th 2009, 5:50 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The effort continues to determine the source of a terrible odor at Floral Haven Cemetery.  On Monday, Floral Haven told The News On 6 that the smell was most likely coming from a body placed there about a month ago that had been prepared by Reynolds Funeral Home.  However, owner Nick Reynolds says that is not the case and he can prove it.

Floral Haven told The News On 6 they got the family's permission and a state signed disinterment permit to remove the body they thought was causing the odor.  Funeral Director Nick Reynolds was there when the casket was opened and says it was instantly clear - that body was not the source of the terrible smell.

07/27/2009  Related Story: Odor Of Decomposing Body At Broken Arrow Cemetery

"I went up on the left, helped pull the casket out of the crypt, lowered it back down and the first comment that was made, was, we've disinterred the wrong body," said Nick Reynolds.

Reynolds says it was obvious immediately, the body he'd prepared, that was removed, was not the source of the odor.  He says he takes great pride in being one of the few funeral homes in  Tulsa that does its own embalming.

He says he even helped Floral Haven troubleshoot, getting on the roof of their mausoleum to help them pinpoint the source of the smell.

"Was able to help them isolate down to, instead of a guessing game of a whole wing, they now have it down to a certain area," said Nick Reynolds with Reynolds Funeral Home.

Reynolds says he didn't stop there.  He hired former Tulsa County Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Ronald DiStefano, a pathologist with 30 years experience, to examine the body that had been removed.

"There was no, absolutely, no issues, no decomposition smell. He was able to stand there with no problems and as you know from yesterday, it would be almost unbearable," said Nick Reynolds.

Reynolds told The News On 6 there's no way for Floral Haven to know which funeral home prepared the body until they know for certain, which body is causing the smell.

The News On 6 contacted Floral Haven after talking to Nick Reynolds, but they didn't want to make any further comment, other than to say they are working on the problem.